Promotional Product Marketing Blog

Learn the best ways to market your brand with the use of promotional marketing products. Our blog gives you the best tips on ordering the right marketing merchandise to increase brand awareness within your target market. From creative marketing ideas to case studies of how others have used promotional items to promote their brand, we give you clear direction in aligning your promotional product campaign with your overall business goals.

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The Top 10 Branded Holiday Gifts of 2019


While it feels as if the holidays are far off, the gifting reality is much different. When you consider the time to browse, sample, brand and print, now is the perfect time to start your holiday gift order. Not only does an early fall purchase ensure you’ve got the right gifts in-hand immediately post-Thanksgiving – the prime gifting window – but it also gives you maximum time to tackle everything from packing and shipping logistics to gift list development.

In other words, while it may feel totally early bird for a holiday gift order, crossing this off your list means weeks to kick back and enjoy the pumpkin spice of it all, while other businesses scramble to find the “perfect” gift.

Better still? We’ve rounded up the best, most sought-after and most #trending gifts of the year – the must-haves topping client’s, vendor’s, partner’s and staff’s wish lists this year. Be the seasonal superstar by locking down one or more of these amazing branded holiday gifts now.

1. True Wireless Earbuds with Rechargeable Case, $11.99
Apple’s® AirPods® burst on the scene this year in a very big way. Now you can leverage the universal appeal and total trend-worthiness of this trend with our True Wireless Earbuds with a Rechargeable Case this holiday season.

Not only are they the perfect gift – who doesn’t like to have music at the ready as they’re jumping on the train, running between meetings or sweating it out on a morning run – they auto-pair via Bluetooth® and work for up to 33 feet. Get up to 90 minutes of charge from the case and up to 4½ hours from a full charge, ensuring your recipients can go anywhere and do anything with these branded earbuds.

2. Stout Double Wall Camp Mug, $12.19

Embrace the great outdoors all year long with these laser-engraved double-wall camp mugs. Ideal for the camper and non-camper alike, these mugs are ideal fireside, couch-side or anywhere in between – and with a spill-proof lid and the ability to keep hot drinks hot for up to eight hours (cold for 12!), your recipients will no doubt take them everywhere.

3. Fuji Lunch Gift Set, $29.49
Consider this a one-two holiday punch: help your clients and customers stick to their post-holidayresolutions while ensuring they not break the bank in the gift-buying lead-up. With an on-trend bento box and water bottle packed into this premium gift set, you’re gifting clients and customers a healthy day every day.

The bento box includes two distinct sections for packing their favorite on-the-go lunches as well asreusable utensils. Paired with the Quench Tritan® Bottle – which comes complete with reusable ice cubes – and you’ve got the ultimate go-to whether recipients are in the office, in the car or dashing between meetings.

4. Roots73® Woodland Knit Mittens, $26.45
Who doesn’t love an amazing pair of warm, cozy mittens? You can truly never have too many – but, once your customers, clients and team members slip these on, they’ll no doubt become the seasonal favorite. Lined with anti-pill microfleece, these mittens are incredibly softs on the inside and out, while keeping hands toasty warm in low temperatures. Perfect for tailgating, sledding or, simply helping make outdoor winter activities a little more pleasant, our Roots73 Woodland Knit Custom Mittens are up to the challenge.

5. Roots73 Sprucelake Plaid Shirt, $55.25
The perfect winter layering piece, this Roots73 cotton flannel plaid shirt will quickly become one of your client’s favorites – and ensure your branding gets out there over and over again. With Roots branding, they’ll want to slip it on, and with soft, comfortable cotton, this breathable shirt will be the perfect wardrobe essential – layered under sweaters and jackets in the winter, or open and casual in the warmer months.

6. iLuv® And Click2 Wireless Speaker w/Amazon Alexa®, $46.15
Streaming now accounts for 75% of U.S. music consumption – so chances are, your clients, customers and employees are streaming around the clock, making this iLuv and Click2 Wireless Speaker with Alexa built-in an amazing holiday gift.

Portable, durable and easy to wireless connect, once it’s up and running you can activate Alexa and stream Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeartRADIO and other popular music services instantly. Another perk? They can use the built-in mic to call and say “thanks” hands-free.

7. Iridescent PopSockets® Cell Phone Stand & Grip, $9.99

PopSockets burst on the scene a few months ago and haven’t stopped their meteoric rise.

What looks like a simple enough smartphone add-on actually serves many functions, turning your phone into a hands-free device, selfie mount, personal movie theater or grip. Made from aluminum and soft plastic, it’s easy to attach and POP anytime, ensuring you never lose the hold on your phone.

While there are numerous PopSockets to choose from, this one tops our list because it incorporates another trend we can’t get enough of: the iridescent trend.

These PopSockets have a cool iridescent finish and are laser-etched with your company branding or logo.

8. Dipped Stainless-Steel Bottle, $8.65

Inspired by the never-ending Swell craze, this Dipped Stainless-Steel Bottle is triple-insulated to keep drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 – a whole workday (or three…).

 

While it’s easy to see who would be the perfect recipient for some of these gifts, there’s no question everyone could do with drinking more water – or, simply, would love to have a go-anywhere, do-anything insulated bottle to tote morning coffee or tea (hot or iced), afternoon soups or smaller hot bites or any other beverage you want to sip on all day long. And when they do, they’ll be reminded of your amazing brand – the brand responsible for their favorite holiday gift.

9. The North Face® Groundwork Backpack, $65.99
North Face is a household name for a reason. This classic backpack is a perfect example of North Face cool, casual and totally versatile – all with your prominent branding to engage and activate recipients and everyone they pass.

That is just the beginning of why the Groundwork Backpack made our holiday list. Yes, it’s cool and yes, it’s classic North Face, but this bag offers a padded back panel with a spine channel and FlexVent™ Suspension for maximum support. It’s so supportive, in fact, that it’s endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association for its ability to reduce pressure and improve ventilation – so you know it’s rock solid.

If you’re giving a bag to an outdoorsy person – that hiker, camper or explorer on your list – they’ll no doubt appreciate the bungee cord for added storage and the two mesh water bottle pockets. If they couldn’t be further from getting OUT, they’ll be all about the floating padded laptop sleeve in the main compartment, plus the padded top handle and a sternum strap that improves comfort and wearability.

10. Gourmet Snacks Gift Box Tower, $27.69
There’s nothing like an incredible SNACK to usher in the holiday season – and this four-tier gift box seals the deal. Add your imprint and a ribbon of your choice and you’re good to ship – and good to receive the countless calls from customers and clients who can’t stop munching on the lemon cookies, honey mustard pretzel nuggets, peanut brittle crunch, shortbread, dark chocolate covered almonds and chocolate hazelnut wafer cookies that pack this pack.

Whether they share it with the office or keep it to themselves, this massive snack tower is the perfect way to share some holiday cheer, and welcome in a happy new year with your best clients, partners and team members.

Get in touch with your ePromos Account Manager to plan and place your holiday gifts order. While you’re at it, keep up to date on all things ePromos, follow us on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!


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5 Tips to Connect Coworking Employees to Your Brand


Your standard office job: high-level execs behind closed doors and lower-level employees grouped by department in cubicles, separated by partitions. Except… not anymore! More and more companies are adopting non-traditional work spaces. This includes everything from changing up the flow within the office itself to remote employees and coworking spaces.coworking space

What are Coworking Spaces?

Coworking spaces in particular are on the rise, and with so many benefits to both employees and employers, it’s no wonder.

For those not familiar, a coworking space is an office building that shares work space between multiple companies. Business owners have the option to rent the space based on their needs with short-term or even monthly lease options. This allows companies to have a base for their remote employees where they can collaborate (both personally and on behalf of their company) without a long-term commitment. This type of environment also appeals to freelancers, start-ups and entrepreneurs who want an affordable alternative to a traditional office space.

Coworking spaces, such as WeWork and Buro come fully furnished and often stocked with a variety of office-type amenities such as high-speed internet, dedicated mailboxes and storage, private meeting rooms, printing and copying capabilities, kitchens, coffee and cleaning services as well as perks such as snacks (and sometimes beer), networking opportunities and social spaces. Companies can choose shared or dedicated work space within an array of private offices and desk-type of layouts.

Many companies are turning to coworking spaces to allow them to decrease office-space spending and overhead while increasing their talent pool. With remote employees, businesses are not limited by location, so you can see why this option is on the rise. According to CBRE, “The Fortune 500 is engaged and intrigued.” You can expect to see a lot more of this strategy popping up in all types of different businesses’ portfolios.

Challenges of Coworking Spaces

This all sounds pretty exciting for the creative team as well as the head of the company. But while coworking spaces do have undeniable advantages, they also come with a few drawbacks.

Non-traditional work spaces such as a coworking environment are not for everyone. Some employees have a hard time focusing with the open office floor plan. Because spontaneous collaboration is encouraged in these spaces, the noise from different groups of conversations can be overwhelming to some. There is also a lack of privacy unless individuals are in a private office. And because coworking spaces come fully furnished, there is little wiggle room to customize the space to your particular style and comfort.

However, the biggest challenge for both the employees as well as the employer can be staying connected to the company and the brand. Due to the nature of the environment and the physical disconnect to the rest of the company, it can be difficult to keep coworking employees in the loop and make them feel they are part of the team. Fortunately there are many things you can do as the business owner to meet these challenges head on.

5 Solutions to the Challenge of Disconnect in Coworking Spaces

If you think a bit outside the box, you can find many solutions to help make your coworking employees feel part of the team. Keep them connected to your company and your brand with these five tips:

1) Engage Strong Telecommunication

Keep your remote employees in coworking spaces connected by keeping them in the loop.Share data and progress often. Include them on office emails. Have them participate in video conferences and your content management system. Having these tools at your disposal will make it seem as if they are just a few feet away from the rest of their co-workers, even if they’re on the other side of the country.

2) Promote Community

A sense of community is a very strong draw for many people. When employees are isolated, they may not care as much about the work being done, but if they feel as if they’re part of the work community, it becomes personal. Include your coworking crew in company-wide gatherings, events and retreats. Not only will this help foster positive collaboration amongst your coworking team, but also connect them to the rest of the company.

3) Be Present

Communicating often through email and video conferencing is a great way to show your presence and availability to your coworking employees, but being physically present really helps them sense they are part of the bigger picture. In addition to your weekly meetings and daily check-ins, be sure to make an appearance at the coworking space a few times throughout the year. This will not only help them be connected to your company and brand, but also help you understand where they’re coming from in their work by experiencing the environment first-hand.

4) Recognize & Share Accomplishments

It’s easy to feel disconnected when the rest of the company can’t share in your victories. Make your coworking team feel enjoy being part of THE team by recognizing and sharing their accomplishments with others in the company. Not only will this boost morale for your coworking team, it will also help foster team spirit and collaboration between them and the in-office team.

5) Nurture Brand Awareness

Our Elevate Crane Half Zip Jacket

Promotional products are more than just free stuff people love; they help your company nurture your  brand’s presence in and out of the office. For remote and coworking employees, this is crucial. Your employees are going to need office supplies such as notebooks, pens, markers, desk caddies, etc. You might as well take advantage of the opportunity to nurture brand awareness and be connected at the same time by providing them with these branded materials. It’s simple, easy, and effective. And if you really want to go the extra mile, provide high-end items that will come in handy for their unique coworking environment such as branded apparel, blankets, water bottles and even noise-canceling headphones.

Get in touch for more ideas on how to make your coworking team utilize your brand’s connection!


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5 Reasons This Custom Campfire Mug is a Fall Essential


Summer’s winding down but, we’d argue, September is the perfect month to get your camp on. Think about it – the weather isn’t so brutally hot, and all of the fair-weather campers likely packed up their tents pre-Labor Day. Now, the campsites are calm and there’s still ample time to get out and explore before the cold weather sets in.

Our campfire mugs

Really, what could be better? Besides, of course, September’s Product of the Month, our Stainless Steel Speckled Camping Mug. These 16-ounce camping mugs are the ultimate retro add-on for any outdoor adventure.

#1. Vintage is “IN”
Customers are clamoring for all things vintage – such as these campfire mugs. Taking a cue from high fashion – which called vintage the trend for Fall/Winter 2019 – these mugs are an amazing accessory that satisfies virtually any recipient. That trendy 20something buyer? She’ll love the retro cool that oozes from these camping mugs. That senior exec? He’ll love that these mugs are total classics – exactly what he busted out for countless camping trips.

#2. They’ll keep you HOT (literally)
That said, with vintage style comes a vintage feel – literally. These are authentic campfire mugs, meant to keep your drinks, stews, chilis and cocoas hot…and your hands too. Expect these cool cups to heat up when hot beverages or foods are poured in. On a cool fall night or early morning stroll, that’s a bonus.

#3. No more pre-sip mix ups
Available in seven colors – black, blue, navy, green, white, red and teal – it’s easy to hand customers, clients, vendors, staff or, even, your camping crew a batch of campfire mugs that are totally identifiable. That means no more mixing up AM coffee cups or PM hot cocoa with these bold hues.

#4. Be the only brand in town…
One of the biggest appeals of camping? Getting away from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life. From a brand perspective, that’s the ultimate opportunity to make your mark.

Brand these campfire mugs and you’ll ensure your business, your message and your unique value proposition is front-and-center when there’s zero competition for your customers’ and clients’ attention and engagement. With an oversized 2.25″w x 1.75″h space for your two-color printing, you’ll be sure to get the word out, even in the great outdoors.

#5. They’ll be ready for next season
All of this said, these aren’t one-and-done campfire mugs. These classic cups are meant to hold up – they’re high-quality, kitchen-grade stainless steel, super sturdy and BPA free. Whether they’re tucked away for next camping season or become cupboard staples used all year long, these branded mugs will be good to go whenever they’re needed.

Watch as our Brand Manager, Ashley, gives you an up-close look:

Get in touch with your ePromos Account Manager to plan and place your September Product of the Month order. While you’re at it, keep up to date on all things ePromos, follow us on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!


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Clever Promotional Gift Ideas You Can Use


Promotional gifts are a dependable method for getting your brand noticed and increasing business. A few stats that may make your jaw drop:

• 8 in 10 consumers own at least 1 promotional item
• 89% of consumers can recall the name of an advertiser on a promotional product they received in the past 24 months
• More than 50% of consumers keep a promotional product from 1-4 years

…and perhaps our favorite…

• After receiving a promotional product, 85% of consumers do business with the advertiser.

Reasons, such as the ones listed above, are what we are constantly shouting from the rooftops — promotional products need to be part of your marketing strategy. From pens, to drinkware, bags, and t-shirts, there are a ton of tried-and-true options that will make potential customers really happy (success!). But this piece is dedicated to those looking to make a bigger splash by choosing something a bit off the beaten path. There are many benefits to going this route:

• A unique experience/promotional item keeps your brand memorable.
• People will be more likely to share or show off a clever item to others, extending your brand reach and impression.
• A creative product still takes advantage of all the benefits of a regular promotional item, so you won’t be missing out on anything!

Clever Corporate Gift Ideas

Now, onto the promotional goods. Keep in mind, some of these items are things people may never consider buying themselves, but would find very useful if they were to receive one. Which really, pretty much makes them the perfect gift!

2-Piece Stainless Steel Custom Reusable Straws

Reusable straws are having a moment, but that moment is really a movement.

As the threat of climate change climbs, more species are added to endangered lists, and tales of more plastic in the ocean than fish emerge, it’s no wonder the shift to be more environmentally conscious is gaining speed alongside these horrors. One simple change many people are taking notice of is simply switching to reusable straws — and by “people”, we also mean the likes of Starbucks, Coachella, and the City of Portland, all of which recently ditched plastic straws. Gifting a reusable straw is a great way to send a positive message to consumers and join the conversation for environmentally-sustainable choices.

From a practicality perspective, this is a compact, lightweight gift people can easily slip into their pocket or bag — always a great convenience when milling around a crowded convention. While any business could make the case for gifting this set of reusable straws (the need to go green is a universal conversation), it would fit especially well with a brand in the food or beverage industry, such as a coffee shop or café, or beverage brand.

Tool Sets

Most of us are not Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, and when it comes to fixing things, well, sometimes it’s just easier to call someone. Which isn’t to say we’re incapable of fixing them, but rather we don’t have the needed tools to get the job done — which is why this compact but extremely useful tool set, made by Origaudio®, is an amazing promotional gift. The tools in this set are especially unique, as each piece is multi-use so you get the most out of each and every one. For example, the barrow tool has 10 different uses (multiple wrenches, built-in screwdriver bits, wire stripper, bottle opener, and more). This set is perfect for a low-maintenance person who needs to fix the occasional item around the house; although it’s also the perfect item to stash in your car for on-the-road emergencies. This high-quality tool set is a perfect promotional gift for a business geared towards hardware or home improvement/DIY.

Custom Emergency Kits

There’s nothing quite like the freedom of the great outdoors and being one with nature — until something goes wrong and you realize civilization is miles away. Enter this handy emergency kit. It’s wonderfully clever as a promotional item, because, well, who would ever throw it out? It’s a perfect item to stash in the car, a backpack, or among hiking/fishing/outdoor gear thanks to how compact and lightweight it is.

An emergency kit is a clever promotional gift for a brand geared towards the outdoors (hunting, fishing, climbing, hiking, etc.). Equipped with items like a whistle, knife blade, fishing hooks on line, a cotton fire tinder, among others, this emergency kit is a nice way to show clients you support their interests — and have their backs if something goes wrong.

Portable Custom Lounger

We’re going to cut right to the chase — these portable loungers are, in a word, amazing.

They make for the perfect on-to-go afternoon nap anywhere, but also have a ton of other features to love (as if portable nap ability isn’t enough). They’re huge, with the ability to hold up to 550 pounds, but fold up in a wonderfully compact, small, self-contained bag. They also require no external pump; to inflate them you simply catch the air as you walk back and forth with it. Oh, and the top inflates to create a pillow, and there’s even a pocket for a drink and an iPad®. Comfy, convenient, and environmentally friendly. Not bad at all. From a branding perspective, this large novelty item provides plenty of space to prominently display your company name, logo, etc. Similar to the custom emergency kit above, this item is a great giveaway for any outdoor-related brand, although you could make the case for its relevance in almost any industry. This portable lounger sends a relaxing message — its the item to choose if you’re going for a chill, Zen vibe with your promotional gear.

Foldable Custom Solar Charger

We’re a super tech-dependent society. iPhones®, tablets, laptops — all these items make our life wonderfully convenient and connected. But one of the massive downsides is battery life. We can all relate to the annoyance (and maybe slight panic) of searching for an outlet when our battery life is dangerously low and flashing red. Enter this dreamy foldable solar charger. Its compact design makes it perfect for use anywhere. And it’s wonderfully environmentally friendly, which, as discussed above, is a trending (and serious) topic du jour. This solar charger, like the reusable straws, sends a message of your brand being connected to the green movement. And frankly, it’s just a cool product; a conversation starter. Having your brand imprinted on it is a great way to get in on that conversation. The solar charger is a great gift for a business that wants to send a green message with a high-end product.

Wireless Charging Custom Padfolio

This smart padfolio is a must-have business item. It’s a 2-in-1 product that allows someone to take notes while simultaneously charging their device. A multitasking dream wrapped up in a sleek design! A blend of old and new, it houses a notepad (like, literal paper), elastic pen loops, a smartphone stand, and, drum roll, a charging bank, which you can connect to wirelessly. This item is perfect for any business-minded, on-the-go person. It’s a fantastic way to have everything you need for roving meetings — coffee shops, business lunches, conferences, etc. This handsome padfolio makes a wonderful gift from any business-oriented industry, such as a law firm, advertising agency, hospital, or university.

Bottle Shaped Water-Resistant Custom Bluetooth Speaker

This handy Bluetooth® speaker is indeed clever — a tech item with the look of a water bottle

(a wildly popular promotional item) provides an interesting aesthetic. It also provides great functionality, as it’s portable, rechargeable, and even water resistant. It has a rubber carrying handle that can be clipped onto a backpack for ease of travel, especially when at the beach or camping. While it makes for a fun gift for an outdoor, or party-oriented business, a Bluetooth speaker is useful, literally, anywhere. It’s a really good “show off” item that can be used at home or even on a desk.

Smart Wifi Video Promotional Doorbell

This promotional item will really get people talking — it’s out there, in the most wonderful, tech savvy way. It’s functional, serving a real purpose, but is on theme with items people will love, but not necessarily buy for themselves. The smart Wi-Fi doorbell features some super cool things. For starters, it produces a live feed, which streams to your smartphone so you can instantly see and communicate with whoever is at your door. It also starts recording as soon as its sensor is triggered, which is a fantastic safety measure. And it’s not impeded by nightfall, thanks to its infrared technology that allows it to work in the dark. This is a dream promotional gift for any business related to safety and/or security. One such industry could be an insurance company that provides this clever gift for policy-holders, perhaps as a welcome gift or a 5-year “thank you” gift.

We hope these creative promotional gifts have made you think outside-the-box when it comes to corporate giveaways. Of course, there’s always a place for the more common (and highly popular) items, such as mugs and tote bags, but the items discussed in this piece just bring a little more oomph — which will get your potential customer’s attention (and appreciation). Check out all of these items, and more, on ePromos.com. Looking for something off-the-wall that isn’t listed here? Get in touch. We’re always happy to brainstorm with you to find the perfect promotional product to increase your brand awareness and wow your customers.


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Living Visually Impaired: Kelly’s Story


Kelly Zarkewicz is the HR Manager for ePromos. Learn more about her visual impairment and daily life with her guide dog, Robin, as we honor National Guide Dog Month, this September.

Every morning, Kelly starts her workday by walking three blocks to pick up a venti iced quad with a splash of soy milk at the Starbucks® near her home in Queens, New York. She makes the journey with her guide dog, Robin, whose “puppuccino” – a small cup of whipped cream – will also be waiting for her at the counter.

Kelly and Robin recently celebrated a year of companionship, and Kelly is quick to say that by now, she trusts Robin as much as she trusts her husband, Andrew, when it comes to helping her navigate her day-to-day life.

But it wasn’t always this way. In fact, Kelly was resistant at first to the idea of using a guide dog.

The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind

A few years ago, Kelly explains, she began the process. She completed her application and went away to attend a weeks-long training at the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, but she found the process isolating and overwhelming. After a few days, she called Andrew to come pick her up. “I wasn’t ready emotionally,” she said, “to give the rest of my sight away to a dog.”

By then, Kelly was a “tried and true” pro at minimizing the impact of her visual impairment. She first began to lose her sight at age 18, after three years fighting through a serious virus, two liver transplants, Leukemia, and intense treatment to help her get cancer-free. Chemotherapy and radiation left her with optic nerve atrophy. Around the time she was finishing high school, she was diagnosed as legally blind and visually impaired.

“I was very eager to go to college and put this medical chapter behind me,” Kelly says. “I hid my impairment as much as I could from almost everyone. I hid it for 20 years, actually.” Kelly has no vision in her right eye, and in her left eye, she has very little depth perception, no peripheral vision, and colors appear distorted to her. “Of all the medical treatments and diagnoses,” she explains, “losing my sight was the hardest. Emotionally, that’s what really hit me the most. I have to constantly adjust how I do things, and I’m always relearning.”

Coming Out

By 2011, when she first took a job with ePromos, she’d become so adept at compensating for her impairment that no one she worked with knew she was visually impaired. She made adaptations to her computer to continue performing her job expertly, and she spent a lot of time studying common surroundings to make sure things such as her routes around the office building were familiar. But a couple of years later, when ePromos moved their headquarters to downtown New York City on Wall Street, everything changed.

“The walls and doors of the downtown office were made of glass, and everything inside the building lobby was made from the same white marble material,” she recounts. The effect was that the walls, floor, and furniture (like the reception desk) all collapsed into each other. “Everything looked flat to me, like a giant blanket,” Kelly explains. “It was a nightmare.” It was immediately apparent to her coworkers that something was wrong, and as a result, she says, “I had to kind of come out to the entire office about what was happening.”

Her colleagues were eager to help. In particular, Kelly credits her boss and ePromos CFO, Ken Domnitz, as well as Freddy Eira, ePromos Director of Accounting, with jumping in to offer assistance whenever she needed it.

At first, Kelly continued commuting downtown, but the physical shift from a more organized Midtown office to the frenetic downtown area proved to be too much. “I started using a white cane for the first time ever,” Kelly shares, “and I hated it. I’d use it to walk to and from work and then I’d fold it up and hide it in my bag.” As her impairment worsened, Kelly explains, “I started using the cane more and more because it was so exhausting to be scanning all the time.” The vulnerability she felt while using the cane was what made her rethink the idea of getting a guide dog.
It would take another year, until 2018, before Kelly felt truly ready to bring a guide dog into her life. By then she’d made the switch to working from home, where she’s able to work full-time with a few additional accommodations and adaptive technologies.

The Next Step

“I trained like Rocky to go back to the guide dog facility,” she shares. “I didn’t want to leave again – I really wanted this time to be successful.” The process for acquiring a guide dog is lengthy and complex. Kelly submitted a detailed application in November (including paperwork, several interviews, and a video) before getting word of her approval in June to return to the foundation for a two-week training program in Smithtown, New York.

“I specifically asked for a yellow lab, because it was really important for me to be able to see the dog’s face,” she says. The contrast of Robin’s dark eyes and nose against her yellow fur makes her features more recognizable to Kelly given the specifics of her impairment. After arriving at the foundation for training, Kelly was paired with Robin.Kelly and Robin

The time and funding that goes into training guide dogs is impressive. It costs over $50,000 to breed, raise, train, and place a single guide dog, and dogs often spend a year or more training to work with someone with a visual impairment. Fortunately, the foundation’s services are provided at no charge to the individual. Funding comes entirely from the generosity of donors.
“Trainers put so much time and effort into these dogs, and it’s such a big deal when they successfully make it through the program and are partnered with a visually impaired person,” Kelly explains. When Robin successfully graduated from the program and was ready to go home with Kelly, her puppy raiser, Jessica, flew up from Georgia for the event.

Life With Robin

“Kelly and Andrew are beyond the perfect family for Robin, and I can already tell how loved and spoiled she is since getting matched with Kelly,” Jessica shared. “I love hearing the stories and experiences since they started working together and hearing how much their lives have changed since accepting Robin into it. I can’t thank this program enough for introducing me to such wonderful people and showing me that when action meets compassion, lives change.”

Robin and her PuppachinoNow, as Kelly performs her daily activities, Robin is there offering guidance and support. In addition to walking with Kelly to Starbucks, she can navigate to the post office, bank, Kelly’s favorite clothing stores, and even lead Kelly to an empty seat on the subway. She’s smart and well-mannered, and her guidance frees up Kelly to give more time, focus, and energy to other things that are interesting and important to her, such as her job at ePromos.

“As an HR manager, you have a lot of people that come to you with health issues or other needs for accommodation, and my background has really made me someone who is empathetic of anyone’s situation or circumstance,” Kelly shares. “I always wanted to be judged on my merit rather than on my impairment, and this perspective gives me the ability to go the extra mile for people because I have a special place in my heart for anyone who’s going through something. Everyone has a story.”

This piece is such a testament to our culture at ePromos, and we’re so thrilled to be able to share it with you. To keep up to date on all things ePromos, follow us on Facebook, Instagram,Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest!


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Snag This Branded Bento Box, Fresh With Your Logo


It’s the ultimate lunch-on-the-go trend – the bento lunch box. So, what is a bento box? Very simply, it’s a super-portable, super-functional box that packs everything needed for a healthy, delicious on-the-move meal – right down to the utensils.

Bento boxes have been in-demand lately as people shift to making more healthy mealtime choices – nearly three in four Americans say they focus on healthy eating, and the majority are working to integrate more fresh foods into their day-to-day.

Encouraging Healthy and Varied Eats

That’s where custom bento boxes come in. With spots for everything – proteins, fruits, veggies and, even, a little treat or two, it’s easy to portion every aspect of a to-go lunch, while ensuring there’s a bit of everything. Gone are the days of popping a sandwich and a handful of cookies and calling it “lunch.” A bento box forces your hand – and your healthy eating a bit, by encouraging a few smaller bites spread out over a variety of foods.

For kids, it’s a slam dunk – because there are so many options, little lunchers can take a taste of a new food or two, without having to worry about not liking their meal. If green grapes aren’t their thing, they can move on to baby carrots, almonds, string cheese or whatever snack-style add-ins landed in their bento lunch box that day.

Good for You, Good for the Environment

Not only are bento boxes good for you and your clients, they’re good for the environment – and the wallet. Our Two-Tone Bento Custom Lunch Box with Utensils is top-rack dishwasher and microwave safe, eliminating added lunchtime waste – no more plastic forks and spoons, aluminum foil or disposable bags getting tossed post-meal. Simply wash, rinse or wipe these bento boxes and they’re ready for the next meal.

And because they’re reusable, your customers, your vendors and your employees will save serious bucks – no more buying all of the disposable goods needed to pack lunch every day. While it may not seem like a lot, costs such as napkins, brown paper bags, aluminum and plastic wraps, disposable utensils and containers, for starters – can easily cost $25 to $30 per month.

Over a year, they could be spending $300 to $400 on supplies – or they can use a branded bento box. With the Two-Tone Bento Box, they’ve got compartments for everything, plus reusable utensils that slide right in. Simply pack, snap closed and go.

Easy for On-the-Go Snacks

Lunch time isn’t the only time for bento boxes. Recipients can load up compartments for road trips, long flights or, simply, days on the go. Sometimes it’s hard to stop for meals and snacks – we get it. Now simply close, seal and toss in a bag or drawer. Even liquids, yogurts and other tough-to-pack eats will stay contained in these bento boxes.

Align Your Brand with Their Go-To Gear

Every time your customers dig into their custom bento boxes, they’ll have a big, bold reminder of your brand and your relationship. The top panel includes a 2” x 2” space for branding, screen printed to last. Standard printing includes a single color, but you can add additional imprints or colors, as needed.

Watch as Ashley, our Brand Manager, gives you an up-close look:

Get in touch to learn more about ePromos branded bento boxes and to start your order now.